Passwords: Nina Kossman on Marina Tsvetayeva

The great 20th-century Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva came to literary maturity during the Russian Revolution, and her poetry was praised by Pasternak, Mandelstam, and Rilke. Nina Kossman will read from the original texts and her own translations

A Celebration of Seneca

T.S. Eliot said the Elizabethan stage was perfumed by the work of Seneca. However, these Roman verse plays are virtually unknown today. Four distinguished translators - David Slavitt, Kelly Cherry, Rachel Hadas and Stephen Sandy - will discuss the relevance of his work and the translation process, and join in a reading in belated honor of the Ides of March.

Poetry of the Last Korean Dynasty

Constantine Contogenis, co-editor of Brief Songs of the Kisang, poems written by Korean courtesans, will read and discuss the rare blend of emotional freedom, ironic perspective, and technical mastery of these little-known works. He will also present a new, usable theory of literary translation.

The kisang (sometimes called “skilled women”) were lower-class Korean women who were forced into artistic (and sometimes sexual) servitude to the 16th and 17th century Korean governments.

Passwords: Martín Espada on Pablo Neruda

Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda has long dazzled the world with his poetry. Award-winning poet and teacher Martín Espada will read and discuss some of the work of this passionate Chilean writer, political activist and diplomat.

Passwords: Richard Howard on Charles Baudelaire

What if Baudelaire had read the quintessential American poet Walt Whitman instead of Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote in a European tradition? Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and acclaimed translator Richard Howard will conjure an imagined Americanization of this French poet.

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